Answered By: Lynn VanLeer Last Updated: Apr 19, 2017 Views: 6312
A primary source is any material where the author presents his or her own research, theory, ideas, or experience.
Some primary sources include:
a research article outlining the methodology and results of the authors' research
the US Census
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
A secondary source is material that analyzes and discusses a primary source. For example:
a literature review article in a peer-reviewed journal
a newspaper article discussing census statistics
a book about Freud's theories written by a psychology researcher
an encyclopedia article about Henry David Thoreau
An article abstract will usually provide enough information to determine if the article is primary or secondary. Look for any indication that the authors conducted their own research or are presenting their own experiences.
Example of an abstract from a primary source with language indicating article type:
Example of an abstract from a secondary source with language indicating article type:
NOTE: Some primary sources will include secondary source material, such as the literature review portion of a research article.
Video: Identify Primary and Secondary Sources
(2 min 42 sec) Transcript
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